Paranoid Conservatives Warp The Hunger Games To Fit Their Anti-Obama Fantasies

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Even The Hunger Games make them froth.

You may have thought you were going to the movies to see a wildly successful film based on a novel called The Hunger Games published on Oct 1, 2008; one that warned of a brutal, totalitarian government using TV to control the people through terror, punishment and distraction.

But you were not. You went to see The Hunger Games to see a warning about how Obama wants to control all of our resources, including our livestock. Duh.

Watch the trailer here:

The Right brought their ideology to the theatre, and you had best agree with them even though the director and (one of several) screenwriter Gary Ross quite clearly was referencing the oligarchy of the 1%. A bit of background:

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the other districts in line by forcing them to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight-to-the-death on live TV. One boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and sixteen are selected by lottery to play.

The winner brings riches and favor to his or her district. But that is nothing compared to what the Capitol wins: one more year of fearful compliance with its rule. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her impoverished district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before – and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

The Hunger Games warns us about an evil government of wealthy, callous, pampered sociopaths who enjoy inflicting pain and terror on the people in order to maintain their power. They are very pro-war and get off on limiting the people’s access to resources in order to keep them docile and willing to kill for survival.

The key to survival in The Hunger Games is to, “Get people to like you!” Or so says the heroine’s mentor. Even if you have to lie to them, invent a love story and act like you don’t care. Play the game right and you’ll survive. The one thing the government doesn’t allow is for humanity to win, so when the heroine battles with her compassion and desire to nurture other “Tributes”, she is supposed to lose because she’s not callous enough.

However, The Hunger Games is Hollywood, and in Hollywood, only the moral can win in a blockbuster. In that sense, the film advocates for humanity and against devouring our own. The evolved win; compassion wins.

In Right wing, this translates to Obama’s horrible dystopian government is giving us all welfare in order to distract us from their theft of our liberty.

The right claims The Hunger Games’ warning about Obama should be heeded. You see, state subsidized birth control is a way to distract us from the government stealing our liberty! Obama is the bread and circuses (panem et circenses; or superficial means of appeasement) upon which the fictitious nation is named! Panem! Bread!

For example, Raven Clabough writes for New American, “One need not be a genius to draw parallels between the governing regime of Panem and that of the United States, adding a frightening layer of depth to the film. One need not look past the recent executive order signed by President Obama to discover that our own federal government has a desire to control our resources, nor does one need to look past the recent congressional debate over subsidized birth control (let alone all of the other government promises to take care of us from cradle to grave), in order to understand that the government is always looking for the next distraction to keep the American people in the dark about its tyrannical and liberty-threatening measures.”

Also, one need not be a genius to know that this executive order does not expand the President’s authority and it is based on a decades old law. This Executive Order is based on Defense Production Act of 1950 which gave the Government powers to mobilize national resources in the event of national emergency. It has been in effect since the Truman Administration.

But back to the fear. Executive order!

Surely I thought they might recognize themselves in the Randian crowds cheering for the death of innocents because they “deserve it” according to the state. But no. The Right’s debate cheers may have demonstrated their propensity to be entertained by violence and suffering of others, but the liberty!

Real liberty is, apparently, allowing yourself to get jacked up over a decades old law. After all, one need not be a genius to know how yummy fear is with tea.

Also, too, Obama’s coming for our livestock!

Just how expansive are the claimed powers and what resources are included in their scope? Livestock? Yes. All food “resources” and “resource facilities?” Yes. Veterinary clinics? Yes. All forms of energy? Yes. Will the President control the water supply? Yes.

Well, it’s been a week and my water is still running, but I question my cable, which goes out every evening at midnight. Obama is hoarding my cable! Oh, wait, that’s the state allowing a corporation to dictate policy. Well, still. Liberty!

My only question is as women, do we now qualify legally as livestock, after Republicans have been likening our reproductive abilities and their right to regulate our property to our being livestock? Moo.

But panem! We all recall when President Obama told us the best thing we could do for our country would be to go shopping, right after he sent us all a 2k refund.

Oh, I kid the conservatives.

The New American doesn’t make mention of the lottery/draft war parable or the to fight until your likely death sold as “noble sacrifice” for your country. No mention of the wealthy sponsorship that the Tributes must win in order to survive. No mention of a government where no dissent is allowed. No mention that the games are a punishment for an uprising of the people. No mention of a government that breeds callousness and divides the people by pitting them against one another for survival. No mention of the use of fear to control and manipulate the people, via the TV, by showing them what happens to bad, undeserving people.

When we watch the scene of the wealthy, privileged few in the Capitol watching the games on big screens and placing bets on who will die as they laugh and gorge themselves, are we thinking gee, there are the 99% or are we thinking gee, there are the 1%?

Donald Sutherland, who plays the evil President Snow, said the film was a unique way to talk about the Occupy Wall Street movement’s message. He tells Entertainment Weekly he hopes the movie will mobilize a generation of people. Sutherland spoke of the poignancy of the film being about the oligarchy controlling the 99%, “Gary Ross wrote a script of such elegance and wit, but he wrote those two scenes in the Rose Garden for me, that so brilliantly encapsulated what it was with the oligarchy controlling the 99% and that is what made me so desperately enthusiastic about being a part of these films.”

The Right is trying to co-opt a universal theme in science fiction, a world of Randian, authoritative brutality in which the government manages to remove humanity from the people by pitting them against one another in a fight for resources. They know the movie is powerful and successful, and so they want to be sure their values are associated with its message in a positive way, lest any “geniuses” out there get any “ideas”.

We know what happens to people with ideas. They engage in uprisings and uprisings must be silenced and shut down…. Individuality is discouraged and spirit is only allowable if the wealthy can be entertained or enriched or use it to distract the masses.

With themes similar to The Running Man, social commentary on a dystopian future with lethal reality TV sufficing for what used to be the Gladiator Games is hardly new, but somehow the Right came away from The Hunger Games believing a book published in October of 2008 was about how evil Obama is. They also assume that the film champions their values of wanting endless wars, hating and fearing gays, Muslims, African Americans, women, union members, poor, elderly, disabled, children, Hispanics, Hollywood elite, coastal elites, big city slickers, et al because they are “hogging all of the resources” that should belong to the white Christian wealthy male and his corporate sponsors. Now you know why they are so desperate to defund education.

As 1%er President Snow, played by Donald Sutherland, says in the film, “Hope. Hope is the only thing stronger than fear. A little hope is effective. A lot of hope is dangerous.”

Got it? Fear = good, hope is bad. Hope empowers the people, fear controls them.

16 Replies to “Paranoid Conservatives Warp The Hunger Games To Fit Their Anti-Obama Fantasies”

  1. Same meme as Y2K and “Clinton is sending black helicopters to take us over!!!

    I have not seen the film or read the books largely because my instant impression was that these were perilously close to Dominioist Ron Luce’s Teen Mania scenarios. In long and hypnotic “conferences” he subjects hungry and sleep=deprived teens to stage plays about their peers having to use automatic weapons against – well, it’s not clear whom. Liberals? Wrong Christians? Non-Christians? Whoever – the enemy is always implied, always shot dead, never seen. But said enemy is a threat to Jesus and the battle is Armageddon with the end point – the return of Jesus which rests on the back of these teens.

    Anyone wants to compare the two, Google Ron Luce and “Teen Mania” and take a look. I’d not buy the videos – who wants to give him MORE money?

    So to me, saying Hunger Games is about Obama is absurd. Saying it’s about a theocrtic tyranny of the future? Not too hard to envision.

  2. Frankly if anything, The Hunger Games/The Road or any combination of dystiopian movies or novels, is more likely what we will end up with for a society with any long term Republican rule.

    Suffice it to say, whatever dystopia we end up with won’t be pleasant for the majority of the population.

    The reason you hear such a hue and cry from the right wing is because down deep they know it’s what they have in mind for us.

  3. Your usual old boring right-wing DARVO, just slightly permuted to DARVOD: Deflect, Attack, Reverse Victim and Offender, Destroy.

  4. “The Hunger Games” has some powerful themes which can and should stimulate discussion, especially in the younger generation, but the book itself has been scored at a 5.3 grade reading level. It’s currently the most popular book amongst high school students, throwing the “Twilight” vampire series (grade equivalent level 4.4) out of the favored reading spot.

    Oligarchy thrives more readily in a dumbed-down society. Considering that thematic elements can be twisted to fit just about any particular ideology, it really does come down to higher academic standards as the surest (but not absolutely certain) way to preserve our democracy. The preferred grade equivalent reading levels of our teenagers is not an encouraging sign.

    At any rate, paranoid conservatives would crucify Jesus Christ on the nearest telephone pole or football goal post if he walked within their midst today. By that yardstick, the prez is in pretty good company.

  5. I went to see The Hunger Games yesterday and I didn’t see what they saw – but then I don’t drink their Kool-Aid and I have a functioning brain.

  6. Brainless Lberals,

    Get a clue. Get more edu-ma-kation, and I don’t mean the liberal indoctrination collegiate kind. Learn yourself some basic, common sense education.

    Some movies are false, like “W” and “Game Change.” Who believes that crap? Based on hours and hours of interviews with aides and staffers? Yeah right, like that ever produces any truth. What do those dumb interns know? Those two films had one thing in mind: slime the God-appointed leaders of the free world.

    “HUnger Games” is a movie about what’s real–it projects the basic American tenet of gun ownership and the right to kill people preemptively if you believe they mean you harm. “Chronicles of Narnia” is also real–it preaches the return of Christ and all that is hly.

    I swear, you all need to take some basic movie theory classes in school so you can discern the difference between your liberal Hollywood, high-budget crapfest and documentary types that speak truth.

  7. Man, you have one HELL of a good imagination! Another perfect capture of the mindset!

    This is the second hard laugh I’ve had this evening. THANKS!

    (I’d bet that you write for a living!)

  8. my edumakation included understanding how and why people like yourself are unlikely to be capable at overcoming the crippling fear that drives your worldview and perception into “conservatism”, in defiance of your own self-interests. You marginalize yourselves every time you pretend to address anyone outside your culture cult.

    So, go play under the bridge and let the humans take care of the important things.

  9. I have not read the books nor seen the movie and don’t intend to. IMO, the premise is unbelievable. When was the last time you saw a hungry person carrying a sign saying, “Will Kill for Food”? The State would not have time to organize “games”. They would be far too busy trying to stop the riots!

  10. They are projecting, as usual. If allowed to privatize everything the corporations will control all the food supplies and natural resources.

    Want something to eat? Get on your knees.
    Want something to drink? Worship us.

  11. “Brainless liberals”… that’s a great example of projecting right there!

    Liberal indoctrination to having an open mind? Yeah, ok. What about your conservative indoctrination of glorifying stupidity and ignorance? You must have been at the top of your class!

  12. I think both fears are founded here. The “1%” take over the government through greed and corruption and then use that government to control the people.

  13. Read the books. To suggest the people would be rioting implies you have not been watching what has been happening recently with the Occupy protestors. It doesn’t take much to quell riots. Apply unquestionable force, make it impossible for people to organize and keep them hungry. It’s worked throughout history. The US today owns literally half of the world’s arsenal. Do you not think they could suppress an uprising? The real difference between the US and Panem is that their inhabitants have lost their illusions about the government but they lost them too late. We still have time but if the Republicans are successful at dumbing down the population we don’t have much.

  14. Like all dystopian novels, one can read hope or dispair
    into them. The jury is still out at the moment. We’ll better understand how close we are to ‘Hunger Games’ in November. If the results of all the media hype (both
    sides) results in the march toward corporate/facist
    oligarchy then we probably ought to begin preparing our grandchildren for bloody revolution.

    Hunger Games was poorly constructed with giant holes in the story line, but it did bring the important message home,
    and that is reason enough for its popularity. It managed
    to bring the divisiveness in this country into sharp focus.

    We can’t trust the polls, but we csn hope that they’re
    right. All we can do is add our vote in November and see what shakes out.

  15. So picked up and read the first book, didn’t watch the movie and I’m flabbergasted by any “liberal” reading of the movie. See, I’m a socialist myself, and beyond the very obvious central government demanding tribute from “Districts”, and “elite” districts “volunteering” for these tributes while working class districts “pay” them reluctantly, there is no way to read the “Capitol” as a right winger figure. The problem here may be that this “being rich is good” thing is not really a fiscal conservative thing. It used to be that working hard for things was the good thing, and big, speculative business based solely on finance was… not so good. The message is that the “Capitol” is rich not because they work, but because tribute is shipped from the working class districts up to these political types. Hardly a liberal message.

    …and (again, socialist here) I’m mostly okay with it. It’s not a particularly well written book, and it’s also pushing the same prudish sexless (boys have a surprising amount of reverse-cooties in the book, given how trigger-happy the main character is when it comes to skewering them through the eye with an arrow) agenda of the Twilight series, but it does come across as a genuine statement, and where Twilight was a moral claim of the worst kind, Hunger Games is merely a political one. I can’t condone, much less enjoy, people telling little girls to submit to men and be celibate until they become abortion-free baby farms, but if you want to use your fiscal conservative views to shape a sci-fi world for teenagers… well, that’s quite a bit less shady and more open to discussion.

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